Kate's Blog

If Quitting Drinking Feels Too Hard, Try This

“This is too hard for me.”

When I was struggling to quit drinking, I said this so often it almost became a mantra.
But back then, alcohol-free living really did feel like an impossible task to me.
If you’re feeling the same way, there are two things I suggest you try…
I explain more in this week’s video.

Key points

Watch your thoughts

“This is too hard,” is a thought, not a fact. We can choose to think thoughts that make us feel good, or we can let unhelpful thoughts run the show. Just becoming aware of how often you repeat this thought is a great first step. Has it become an unhelpful mantra for you?
 

Sobriety does require work – to begin with

Yes, it takes effort to do the myth busting and mindset work required for successful sobriety. Tackling your limiting beliefs and building sober momentum also takes work to start with. But it’s not always going to be ‘too hard’, I promise. Alcohol-free living is a very easy way of life in the long run.
 

Tip 1 – Tell the other side of the story

Drinking is hard work too, but we don’t tend to spend much time thinking about that! Stop using your brainpower to find reasons why sobriety is difficult and start getting clear on why using alcohol is just as tough. Get this out of your head and onto paper so you can see it in black and white.
 

Tip 2 – Choose your favourite hard option

Here’s the thing: if you’re suffering because of your drinking right now then you can’t avoid life being hard, no matter what you do next. If you carry on drinking, you’ve got the hangovers and guilt that comes with that. If you quit, you’ve got the work of sobriety to contend with instead. Which hard option is best? Choose the one you prefer and go for it.
 
Sobriety doesn’t have to be hard – it can be easy, empowering and fun. If you’re looking for help to make sobriety stick, click here for details of my online course.
 

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 

Comments

37 Responses

  1. Thank you so much your talk it made so much sense. Drinking is hard because its taking over my life and my thoughts, I fight mentally every waking minute with myself to give up and I realise now I just need to do it and there is support.
    I have spoken to my gp several times over the years regarding my drinking and they always ask the same questions,
    Do you drink in the morning? No.
    Does your drinking stop you from working? No.
    Has your drinking been a result of someone being harmed? No
    I now feel positive about this approach, I have so many reasons to stop .
    Thank you

  2. Thank you, Kate. I have BPD (EUPD) which I have realised throws some additional barriers to quitting drinking into the mix, BUT – for me drinking is still ultimately harder. It’s the middle of the night self-hatred that gets me, as well as the sly depression that undermines my endeavours (when I do take a break I quickly feel my mood lift). I rarely drink enough to have a hangover, but during drinking weeks I far exceed the elusive 14 units. In fact, for me it’s on or off. I have wondered many times why I go back after experiencing the jubilation and freedom of quitting (sometimes for many months), and can only put it down to the self-sabotaging nature of my BPD. I could be wrong. I still follow you religiously in the hope that, at 48, something will shift on a more subconscious level.

    1. You are not alone in self sabotaging periods of sobriety Liz. The coaching, community support, myth busting and mindset work I teach on my aptly named ‘Getting Unstuck’ course is a different approach that might just resonate with you. Here are the details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. Wonderful Kate
      So good to be reminded of what hideously hard work drinking was. The constant acting and aching loneliness of pretence. The horror of being stuck.
      I love that it’s so much easier and less shaming to find help and direction around getting unstuck these days. Your course was the best thing I ever did to find freedom.
      Wish it had been there 40 years ago.
      Choose your hard.

      1. I’m exhausted from drinking. Physically, emotionally and mentally. I KNOW that it is harder to drink than not. Drinking has actually become boring, if that makes any sense. I have such a different vision of myself than what I have become. It’s really now or never. Thank you for your wisdom and support.

        1. ‘I have such a different vision of myself than what I have become’ . My thoughts exactly.
          Am on day 34 AF and loving the benefits.

  3. It’s the constant mind games I found hard, if I don’t drink tonight I can drink tomorrow, if I can park right outside the shop I’ll run in and get a bottle, I gave up for 2 years and felt amazing, then I had a couple of bad traumas in my life, during lockdown of all times, and I thought just one would take the edge of, didn’t take long to get back to how I was before, now I’m alcohol free again, and living my best life, it really is worth it.

    1. Absolutely Donna, too much head space taken up with shall I, shan’t I, when, how much…? Just not worth it anymore.

  4. Trying to save money and be a bit healthier, planning out your week’s meals and shopping accordingly! Then you drink, more than you should of course, so the next nights meal according to the plan doesn’t cut it and you feel tired so you order a takeaway.
    Next day you’re back on the wine again, the following day again your healthy meal on the plan isn’t what you want, so you go put and buy something else more stodgy and unhealthy, just the stuff you want when hungover.
    And this repeats throughout the week, by the end of the week all the fresh food you bought is off and needs to be thrown out. You’ve wasted all the money spent on the food you planned meals for AND a fortune on top of that on takeaways and additional food bought to satisfy your hangover. Not to mention what you’ve spent on wine.
    More weight gained, bank account looks even unhealthy. This is hard!!!

    1. You’ve described it perfectly Julia! Add to that the time wasted feeling hungover, guilty and annoyed with yourself, plus the gym sessions missed, the barely remembered TV programmes and the family conversations forgotten! Such a waste…

  5. I haven’t had a drink for a whole week, it wasn’t hard.
    I had surgery on my foot and thought if recovering my mobility is going to be hard, why drink and make it even harder?
    I’m proud of me!

  6. Julia.
    I have just read your comments that is exactly how my week is and every week I hate myself for drinking and eating to much. I always say I’ll start Monday.
    Drinking is definitely hard it makes me feel so I’ll when I drink. I don’t sleep and I’m in more pain than normal as I think it affects my fibromyalgia.
    Wham I don’t drink I feel so much better and happier.
    Thanks Kate for the talk it made so much sense

  7. Thanks so much this is so true!
    I am day 42 tom 6 weeks!.
    I am coping well but due to go on holiday in 6 weeks and really want to be able to one fruit cocktail any thoughts on how yo stop this thought as I worry thank you

  8. I wake up every morning with a determination I’m not going to drink tonight I feel empowered confident but as soon as night comes this completely entity takes over and before I know it I’m drinking it’s a vicious circle

  9. I believe drinking is hard because it does take a lot if effort. More planning and precautions so you can drink need to be done. You plan activities around your drinking. You plan time around you drinking so you are sober. You think more about money because you need that next fix. Sometimes we all do better if we just don’t think. Lol

  10. It all makes so much sense.
    I run & am making it so much harder because of the alcohol & the weight gain that goes with it. So many Mondays & 1st’s of the month when I say “that’s it, I’m stopping….” . Last night I didn’t have a drink, tonight I am running…one day at a time, achievable goals

  11. I Loved your pep talk about drinking is hard.
    It’s really hard on your wallet, health, and lot’s more.
    Not to mention how it affects your everyday life.
    Summer has been tough for me because my friends all drink then I fall for it.
    I’ve fallen and fractured a rib because of it but the haunting of alcohol is still here.

  12. I’ve been sober for 6 weeks and not feeling too bad about it but just read that red wine can help with controlling type 2 diabetes and it’s tempting me to drink wine although I’ve never liked it☹️ I know I’ve just got to stop that bad little voice in my head!!!

  13. I find that when I get stressed I reach fir the wine.
    This weekend I made it to 21.5 hrs without a glass of wine then out to dinner and I had 1.
    I nursed that drink fir an hour which was amazing .
    Fir me, that was a first step. Now I have to discipline myself to go further.
    I feel confident that, with help, I can do this.
    Thank you for being there for me

  14. Great talk and so true!! When I was drinking I thought it would be terrible hard work to stop. And I would miss out on all the fun. Taking your course was such an eye opener. The lessons and group support got me through those first weekends I was never able to drag myself through. (I could only get a few days in my own, I’d cave at the first offer of a drink) I went from thinking a glass (or bottle) of wine was the only way I could relax – to the thought of drinking brings me right to thoughts of suffering for the next couple days. Bad sleep, headache, handover, low motivation, cutting corners at home and work, ordering unhealthy takeout trying to get rid of the depleted feeling, feeling depressed for making a bad decision I knew was bad in the first place, feeling like I need to piece my life back together. It really is just easier not to drink!

  15. Loved the video Kate, thank you.
    I have been almost sober since January 22 apart from in April l tried the moderation thing, (and that’s only because l was curious and couldn’t get my head around why some people can only have 1 drink) by May 22 although l had cut down significantly drinking wine on an eve, the wine witch returned and life with such a small amount of alcohol in it was still “hard” back to feeling tired and guilty. I joined sober club end of May and it’s the best thing, having all those around you totally understanding exactly how you feel. Sobriety definitely gets easier and l have learned now to protect it and be proud.

  16. Hi I am deciding too go sober after 20 years of most weekends binge drinking with half of the time getting so drunk I don’t remember anything and feeling anxious for days. There is one thing I feel I will be missing out on if I have the confidence too choose too do something that may look silly then alochol give me an excuse as in I was drunk that’s why I was silly. Can you help me with this thanks

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